The Glory in Despair

In a great chorus [the angels] sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" Isaiah 6:3

I've seen some pretty filthy places recently—places that initially caused me to wonder, "Where is God's glory in this?" So many places on this earth, man has all but snuffed it out.

A couple weeks ago I stood on a street in downtown Delhi, India, in just such a place. The light was dim on this particular street in the middle of day because of choking air pollution. The area itself was full of filth and sadness, where row after row of brothels lined the streets and derelict men wore off their hangovers from the night before in narrow alleys. Brothel children begged on the sidewalks and men dug through a nearby garbage pit—hard to distinguish from the rest of the street—for anything useful. In every direction were ugliness, filth, and chaos.

Except for one.

My eye caught a beautiful tree growing along the street, in full bloom. Its happy yellow flowers were such a contrast to the depressing scenes around me. I clearly saw God's glory somehow shining through. It was truly a lone sign of hope in a barren desert of human despair.

In another sense I have seen God's glory in once broken and abandoned kids. These kids were lost, alone, and empty, but now they are shining examples of hope. I met such kids throughout India the past month.

Napoleon, abandoned at a train station by his parents at age two, survived two years begging on trains and then spent the next ten years in a youth corrections facility. He is now enrolled in Bible College and wants to help underprivileged people in the cities.

Jennie, orphaned at a young age, demonstrated great leadership ability after growing up in a Hopegiver's sponsored orphanage. She began operating a whole orphanage by herself at age 16 and, two years later, is still doing an excellent job raising "her kids" to love Jesus and to be happy, disciplined kids.

Lilly, a recent Bible College graduate from a poor tribal village, is returning to her remote village to start a school for poor children.

And there are so many others!

Like that flowering tree in the middle of lonely despair, these kids are examples of God's redeeming power and His earth-filling glory within their suffering societies. They are bringing hope to many, despite the worst of conditions that they've survived and endured. No one expected beauty out of the ashes of their lives, but here they are…growing, thriving, blooming.

I stand amazed at God's ever-present glory that fills the earth in the lives of His children!

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Posted in categories: Amazing God | Mission Possible | Travel Diaries